Instead of participating in OU Cousins, this semester I decided to try something new. I ended up tutoring kids from foreign nations at a local high school after school. I went several times a month, and helped kids with subjects from math to biology and everything in-between.
I enjoyed helping these students, but I did have some troubles in the beginning. Though I realized that for many of these kids English was not their first language, I did not quite realize how much more patience and effort it would take to help these students understand crucial material in their non-native language.
It was initially frustrating to try to explain math concepts and other related topics to students who I swear half of the time did not understand what I was saying. As someone with little patience, it did get annoying. After trying to explain to this one student for twenty minutes how to graph a line, I realized that though she might not understand what I was trying to tell her, she was doing much better than I would be in that situation.
I am currently in Italian 1, and though I’m not doing terrible in the class, there’s no way I would be able to do math or biology in Italian, and I probably won’t be able to do that for many more years. Picturing myself in her shoes, trying to learn something new in a language I was not born into is incredibly hard and frustrating. Though I cannot say that I know exactly what she was going through, I imagine I will experience many similar situations when I go abroad (which is both exciting and extremely frightening).